We’re officially in the fields!
For a dairy farmer the first thing we do in the spring is take the manure we’ve collected from our barns and stored over the winter, and apply in onto our fields. The manure will provide nutrients to the soil to help grow the plants we’ll feed our cows.
Our farm is verified by the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP), meaning we take many steps to be environmentally friendly. We have a lot of paperwork to keep track of the manure and how it’s spread onto the field.
I designed a sheet to keep track of the manure we haul. It’s kept in the tractor so I can enter the information into our computer program later.
Here you can see the pit where we are “agitating” the manure (like a big blender… mmm smoothie anyone?) and pumping (suctioning it out) into the big tanks and spraying it on the fields.
We then have to “incorporate” the manure so that it stays on the soil in the field and doesn’t go anywhere else. We do this with the large piece of equipment that essentially turns over the soil.
There are a lot of steps to handling the manure to ensure the nutrients are provided to the field and we’re doing so in a responsible manner.
Other ways we’re protecting the environment is by rotating the crops that are planted in our fields to ensure the land remains fertile, planting cover crops to stop erosion, and testing the soil to ensure we use the right nutrients so that it can continue to produce food for our cows, who make the milk we all drink.
We are proud to be MAEAP verified and we make sure we take special care of the land around us. We live on the same land as our farm, so we want to be good stewards of the land to protect it for our animals, our employees and the future generations that may farm this same land.
This land feeds all of us, so being respectful of the environment is a must!